7 of The Best Sports Stadiums in The World

an image of wembley stadium

From football to baseball, athletics to swimming, there's no denying that sport is one of the best mediums to unify people together. Just take a look at England's world cup performance last year? Our Brexit-divided nation was fully behind the team - that was until we got knocked out. But still.

Sporting events like the Olympics and World Cup (of any sport) can generate a lot of excitement, so it comes as no surprise that the global sporting industry is worth a staggering $620 billion (£479.5 billion), according to A.T. Kearney.

With that much money circling around, some of the sporting arenas are extremely impressive architectural structures that would make any construction worker proud to have been involved in building it from the ground up.

In this article, we take a look at some of the most spell binding sporting arenas

1. Ericsson Globe (Stockholm, Sweden)

An image of Ericsson Globe Source: Flickr

The Ericsson Globe is the world's largest hemispherical building with a volume of over 21 million cubic feet. The 16,000-capacity stadium is Sweden's national indoor arena and it hosted many events from UFC to the Ice Hockey World Championships. It even held concerts by Depeche Mode and Britney Spears. 

Designed by architects Lars Vretblad and Svante Berg, the arena represents the sun in the Sweden Solar System.

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2. MetLife Stadium (New Jersey, USA)

An image of MetLife stadium Source: Wiki Commons

Home to the New York Jets and New York Giants, the MetLife Stadium holds the record for being the most expensive stadium ever constructed, costing around $1.6 billion (£1.246 billion). With room for over 82,000 fans, the MetLife Stadium has a surprisingly small carbon footprint for its size, using 30% less energy than the old stadium.

The MetLife Stadium was officially opened in 2010 and was designed by consortiums 360 architectures and EwingCole.

3. Estadio do Maracana (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

an image of the maracana Source: Wiki Commons

Once the largest capacity stadium in the world, the Estadio do Maracana was originally built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, and it also hosted that tournament's final. In that year, the stadium housed nearly 200,000 excited football fans. Now, the stadium holds over 73,000 but it is one of the largest stadiums in South America.

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4. Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena (Shanghai, China)

an image of qizhong stadium Source: Wiki Commons

Built to host the ATP World Tour Finals (Tennis) between 2005 to 2008. Situated in southwest Shanghai, the 15,000 seater stadium features a remarkable roof that opens up like a spring flower - in fact, it is meant to represent a blooming magnolia. Each roof panel is in shape of a petal, and the entire roof can retract in 8 minutes.

Costing approximately $200 million to build, it was recognised with IOC/IAKS Silver Award for best sports and leisure facility.

5. Beijing National Aquatics Center (Beijing, China)

An image of Beijing National Aquatics Center Source: Flickr

Also known as the Water Cube, the arena was a flagship venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with its 17,000 capacity. The Water Cube features a unique and intricate bubble pattern on the exterior walls which is made up of 4,000 ETFE (a see-through polymer that can transmit more light than glass) pillow segments. Interestingly, it is the largest ETFE shelled building, and the material helps keep energy costs down by 30 percent.

The Water Cube was designed by PTW Architects, CCDI and Arup who have won multiple awards for the design of the venue.

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6. AAMI Park (Melbourne, Australia)

An image of AAMI park Source: Wiki Commons

With its mesmerising domed roof, it comes as no surprise to see this stadium being crowned the world's most iconic stadium at the 2012 Stadium World Congress Awards. The dome is made out of a bioframe which consists of 50% less steel than the equivalent structure of the same size, and provides an all-round unobstructed view from each of the 30,050 seats within the stadium

Opened in May 2010, it cost around $240 million to build and was designed by Australian firm Cox Architecture.

7. Wembley Stadium (London, England)

an image of wembley stadium Source: Pixabay

Completed in 2007, Wembley Stadium became the new home of English football, and is also the home of the England national football team. The iconic Wembley arch stands above the stadium at a staggering height of 436 feet, and the retractable roof panel is the world's longest at 1,033 feet.

Wembley is the second biggest stadium in Europe and cost over $1.3 billion to build. The stadium host a number of British and European football fixtures as well as NFL and rugby. It also won numerous award including a RIBA National Award and Vodafone Live Music Award for Best Venue. 

Thanks for reading! What's your favourite sporting arena? Please let us know in the comments section below.